An Alliance of Enemies by Reuban J. Eckhart


 Hello everyone

Another book to talk about today. I recently had the good fortune to be sent a signed copy of this book by the author Reuben J. Eckhart. It was also accompanied by the most entertaining letter that did not half make me chuckle.

 

Even when peace is established, there are people who'll blow things apart and burn everything to the ground to get what they want. Luckily, there are people who'll move against them. But still, the axe will grind, the sword will be drawn, and the dagger will slip between the ribs and into the hearts of families. War is coming. Pick a side.

Ignoring Cylandia’s problems won’t solve them. Allowing hatred to go unchallenged will cede ground to Cylandia’s enemies and cause the acid of hate to burn them all. Radvere is about to be tested beyond anything he ever could have imagined, and it's his own brother that's doing the testing.

An Alliance of Enemies: Dissension.
A High Fantasy.
 

 


An Alliance of Enemies by Reuban J. Eckhart is an interesting take on fantasy. It centres a cast of characters who live in the land of Cylandia. The story takes place mainly in the town of Darach, but it also brings in the provinces that surround the town.

The town is a bit of a melting pot of cultures, but mainly dwarves and the elves. The dwarves are primarily the underdogs, with the elves being the ruling classes. As we enter the world of An Alliance of Enemies, we know that there has been a war at some point, but now there is an uneasy truce. In addition to this we find that there is some economic strife and the elves have a stranglehold on the economy.

There is a large cast of characters in An Alliance of Enemies, but there main characters that we follow, mainly Radvere and his Brother Ilriych, who are basically like chalk and cheese. Complete opposites and constantly in conflict with each other. Both have different methods to attempt to deal with the oppression that they feel at the hands of the elves. Radvere tends to try to use more diplomatic methods, whilst Ilriych uses more direct action in the form of more extreme and violent methods.

An Alliance of Enemies is quite an intense little book in that it deals with a number of issues. It is based around political tension and conflict and tries to show the effects that this has. There are some very real world politics in there. The story itself is a taut story and you get to see that Darach is a tinderbox waiting for someone to light the touch paper. Rather than a linear narrative, An Alliance of Enemies is character and dialogue driven, and centres upon incidents that affect the individual. Yes there is a let's start here point, but the tale moves around with the cast,  in their individual endeavours. As I have said earlier the book does follow a number of main characters but there is quite a large cast of ancillary characters that at times may have differing impacts on the story.

I quite enjoyed An Alliance of Enemies and the story it told, although there were parts of it that I found a little difficult, mainly keeping track of the different characters and their impact on the story. However, this didn't particularly impair my enjoyment of the book.  The book itself  uses different elements than you would expect and doesn't particularly follow the expected trajectory of the genre by having things like magic systems, although this does get introduced towards the end of the book,  and attempts to bring in things that affect us as a whole in this modern age, such as religion and its effect on the state. additionally, there are themes of radicalisation, race politics, conflict within families and a number of other things.

Again, this works quite well, and is a particularly brave move to bring social politics into a fantasy setting. Whilst An Alliance of Enemies has lots of traditional themes to it, I found it to be quite ambitious and a particularly novel approach with its short chapter structure and moving to different parts of the world and different characters. I found that this increased the tension of the story, and it will be interesting to see how this story develops and how the differing characters will have an impact on the events to come.
 




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